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iPod classic won't turn on - the basics

Updated on May 08, 2012

First things first......

So, your iPod won’t turn on - you’ve pressed all the buttons 1, 2 ,3 times....nothing…...then pressed them again harder and harder…..still nothing! Sworn, shouted, panicked??

These points are the first things to try before having to do anything too technical (or throwing it in the bin!).

Check the hold switch

First, make sure the hold switch is not on. This can be found on top of the ipod. If it is on then there will be an orange part showing. This means that the lock is on and any button can be pressed but nothing will happen - handy if it’s in a case/pocket/bag but not if you’re desperatley trying to turn it on! If it is on (orange) just slide it across and press any button to turn it on. Even if it is in the off position try toggling it from off to on then off.

Connect up

Sometimes just connecting your iPod to the computer will wake it up.

Check the battery

Is the battery charged? If the battery is too low to turn it on a ‘low battery’ screen will show for 3 seconds - go plug it in! it may take a little while before you can turn it on to be used, about 30mins. So, leave it off and charge it for about an hour. The battery can sometimes drain if it hasn’t been used for a while.

Drain the battery

Try letting the battery drain right down. Leave it alone for about 24hrs, then plug it in to charge, again it may take 30 minutes of charge to get going.

Now what?

If none of the above work, don’t panic, there are still plenty of things to try.

Have a look at the next article for more tips ........

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      ipod wont turn on 8 years ago

      It's worth adding that if your iPod refuses to go into Disk Mode and you hear a noticeable clicking sound, it's likely a faulty hard drive. If the unit is a Fourth Gen, however, the problem might just be corrosion on the HDD cable and will need cleaned periodically. Good luck & I hope this helps.

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      Max 7 years ago

      If you hold down the Menu button and the middle button for around 10 seconds, It should start up again.

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      Natalie 7 years ago

      holding the menu button and the middle button worked! Thanx!

    • profile image

      beth 7 years ago

      thankssss!!!

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      Dimitri 7 years ago

      thanks!!! what a relief

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      Katie 7 years ago

      YOU ARE MY HERO! I thought I had lost it forever! Thanks sooo much!!

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      Mark 7 years ago

      sweet. You just saved me from running a marathon without tunes. cheers.

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      Sean 7 years ago

      Yeah Baby!!! I was very much in doubt about holding the menu and middle button in, but it worked. Haha> (When a hero comes along..... Thanks guys!!!!

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      karl 7 years ago

      just done this and it came back on. why the hell did it do it in the first place?

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      JamIe 7 years ago

      omg!!!THANKS SO MUCH...!!HELPED A LOT~LOL

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      serina 7 years ago

      thanks so much!!!!

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      michelle 7 years ago

      ok that's all good but it does not work for a ipod nano :(

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      Alison 7 years ago

      It just worked on my ipod nano... phew!

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      Erik 7 years ago

      THANKS YOU MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Michaela 7 years ago

      YAY!!! Max just saved my 3rd generation ipod nano!

    • profile image

      hannah 7 years ago

      Max. Thank you friend. :)

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      Sarah 7 years ago

      ummm...my husbsnd left his 3rd gen nano in his truck connected to his radio for some 12 months straight without a problem. Last week he tells me that the ipod will not turn on? what do I do

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      hennessy 7 years ago

      sarah, do what all the other people did: hold the menu and center button down. at least if the 'freeze screen'[silver apple on a black screen]comes up, you should be able to plug it in a computer or charging source and that'll get it running again.

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      krisel 7 years ago

      OMG MAX ur a genius!!! thanks so much! does anyone know why my ipod 4th gen didn't turn on? it was fully charged :S

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      STP 7 years ago

      thx brother i was freakin out

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      J Boshell 7 years ago

      Thanks for the.help,only have the i pod a little while,its working great now thanks

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      Shelby 7 years ago

      max is the best. tht saved my life.

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      Hannah 7 years ago

      Thank you Max!

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      rich 7 years ago

      This actually worked!!! Cheers

    • profile image

      rich 7 years ago

      This actually worked!!! Cheers

    • profile image

      Josh 7 years ago

      Thanks so much Just saved my Ipod

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      7 years ago

      ipod nano will turn only when plugged in, as soon as i disconnect the sreen wont show up or turn on! what can i do to fix it?

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      sh  7 years ago

      i tried teh button thing and it won't work..any other suggestions

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      ZOEXX 7 years ago

      WOW THNX MAX UR GREAT

    • profile image

      marcus 7 years ago

      my ipod turned off by itself and is now not turning on at all

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      kel 7 years ago

      is it charged up. sometimes connecting it to the computer will wake it up

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      thankful 7 years ago

      holding down menu and middle blank button worked for me also, thabnk u very much saved me a huge headache!

    • profile image

      lifesaver 7 years ago

      Thanks bro

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      K8ie 7 years ago

      Thank you so much!

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      grateful 7 years ago

      thank-you, it worked for me aswell!!!!!! :)

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      Beth 7 years ago

      Yeah, that reset technique used to work for me, now it doesn't anymore. My 30GB Video stopped working a few months ago. I don't know if it needs a new battery or what.

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      Chelsie 7 years ago

      Ok i tried the whole menu and middel button thing and still nothing its a littleipod nano...so what do i do?!?

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      Janice 7 years ago

      My ipod just recently decided not to work. I tried the button thing and putting it on its deck to chrge it up. It was working fine yesterday. :(

      Reading the above comments the low battery thing shows up. I haven't seen this.

      What do I dooo!!??

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      JB 7 years ago

      OH GOODNESS IT WORKS!!!!!

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      Devo 7 years ago

      Thanks Max! Little tips like this are sweet! I wish I would have checked this on my last one that I flung into the river for not turning on...

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      Emma 7 years ago

      Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou Max!! Times a million!

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      Enrique 7 years ago

      my 30gb ipod clicker wont start up....

      what do i do??

      it just stays on the screen that shows that i should plug it into a wall outlet, but it wont turn on..

      i tried the midle and center button thing but it still wont work....

      HELP PLZ!!!!

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      Hayley 7 years ago

      Thanks!!!!

      I was crying and depressed about my ipod not working but this helped me out thanks bitch buy yourself a drink on me.

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      Danny 7 years ago

      You are my HERO! Thx

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      Mina 6 years ago

      Max from 11 months ago!! I tried what you said and it worked!! Thank you!!

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      Keri 6 years ago

      The menu and middle button works ! Hold them down together for about 10 seconds, then let go and your screen should turn on.

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      Randy 6 years ago

      8GB Ipod Nano 3rd Generation won't turn on & emits 2 beeps every now & then when plugged into power point, does nothing when plugged in to computer. Help please!!

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      Mona Soussi 6 years ago

      wow OMG IT ACTULLY WORKS THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH :)

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      Liam 6 years ago

      re. holding menu and middle button.

      THANKS A LOT, YOU'VE SAVED MY LIFE!!

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      carrie 6 years ago

      my ipod tries to turn on and the apple is very faint, but then just turns off, i have tried all the suggestions on here but nothing is working, the screen says "please wait, very low battery" any ideas on what to do??????

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      blowinsmoke44 6 years ago

      thankss cuz!! holdin the buttons down really worked!!

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      Kristian 6 years ago

      Thanks for the button information! It saved us big time!

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      jen 6 years ago

      It really works!!!! I washed my I pod 1 1/2 years ago and it wouldn't turn on, I plugged it in earlier when I found this post waited 30 minutes held the two buttons down and the damn thing turned on THANK YOU!!!!!

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      George 6 years ago

      Thank you Max, on our way to Marbella today and no tunes would be a nightmare. You've just made our holiday again, Cheers!!

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      mike 6 years ago

      thanks so much i was bout ready to chuck my 4th gen nano across the room...stupid thing...why did it do it in the first place?

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      tyler 6 years ago

      my ipod touch (the latest gen) 32GB won't turn on no matter what i do...any help please? it keeps on happening i got it about a month ago, usually if i let the energy die and plug in back into my dock or computor it will work again, but this time NOTHING works and i am very gentle and sensible with it. HELP PLEASE!!!

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      air1 6 years ago

      thanks! just holding down the menu and play button really does work! thanks!

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      mark  6 years ago

      I have tried everything but my i pod just will not work... can anyone help me out.

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      nkdv 6 years ago

      @mark: try the trick above, it Really works. My iPod Nano 4th Gen, just wouldn't turn on after I charged it... I tried everything, but nothing happened. But hold those buttons (menu-centre) for about 8-10 seconds and it'll turn on for sure, unless there's a fault with the hardware.

      And thanks for the tips, guys... I was literally broken hearted, until.... :)

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      lauren 6 years ago

      thanks max....worked on mine 2 xxxxxxxx also saved my pod xxxxxxxx

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      Kat 6 years ago

      My ipod wouldn't workso i tried to reset it. When i reset my ipod the logo shows up very faintly and then turns off. help! it the latest generation.

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      Julia 6 years ago

      Max you are a LEGEND!!!! Menu and Centre bvutton pressed down really works!!!! Thank You SO much Mwahh xxxx

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      katie crazy 6 years ago

      holding the menu button and the middle button worked for me too!! thank you so much i was dying without it

      xoxox

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      anniew 6 years ago

      thank you ... the holding down the menu button and the middle button worked for me too :D

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      tomm 6 years ago

      didn't work for me :(

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      Steve 6 years ago

      If anybody knows Max personally. Can you tell him/her that I love them and I want there babies :-)

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      Karen 6 years ago

      Max you are a Genious! So simple! Thank you

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      Andrea 6 years ago

      MAX THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU SAVED MY LIFE IT...IT WORKS NOW I DIDN'T KNOW YOU CAN DO THAT..THANKS 8)

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      pipz 6 years ago

      i have tried every thing but my ipod stays dead HELP!!!

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      Desperate!! 6 years ago

      Um I pod died today. Full battery this morning. Tried reset button and nothing. Cany anybody save me from having to buy a new I pod for 131 bucks? Would realy apprciate it, cannot afford the extra expense right now. Its also not being reconized by Wall charger or computer cord. Yikes.!!

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      John H 6 years ago

      Thanks Max!!!

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      Maca 6 years ago

      Wow, grateful to you! Thank you :)

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      Nita 6 years ago

      Thank you Max!

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      Sarah 6 years ago

      This has worked for me before but not today... Today it won't even turn on when plugged into the computer and i just charged it yesterday The screen is completely black and its just kinda like no ones home:( If you know how to fix this can u please met me know thanks.

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      Brandon 6 years ago

      Max ur the greatest

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      willie u 6 years ago

      worked! thx

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      Dick Dickerson 6 years ago

      KICk BOOTY!!! Just held menu and the middle button on my 5th gen and it powered back on!!! HEYYYYYYYYY!!!

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      terje 6 years ago

      just saved from 8 hour flight without tunes, million thanks!!!!

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      scott the scotsman 6 years ago

      cheers man save my life haha

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      LaKesha 6 years ago

      my ipod touch has been like this for like a week now & its fully charged,why isn't this working for me?? ive tried everything :(

      someone help please

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      Emery Christianson 6 years ago

      My i pod only turns on when pluged in. it will restart with menu and center button. When it is not plugged in i get nothing it is just off. what to do?

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      Rhian 6 years ago

      THANK YOU!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW PANICED I WAS!!!!

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      kevin 6 years ago

      I have the ipod nano and it wont turn on and its fully charged but when i try to reset it it wont work at all.... im about to smash it with a hammer and it'll be a bitch if i try to put all the songs i had and new ones on it

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      wanda 6 years ago

      thanks this helped me so much!!!

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      harshit!! 6 years ago

      thnxxxxxxxxxx~!

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      Michelle 6 years ago

      Woohoo! Am now loving Menu and middle button!...and oh max for giving the tip.

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      Rick 6 years ago

      Thanks amigo

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      Kelsie 6 years ago

      Ok so my ipod classic refuses to turn on, i plug it into the computer no problem turns on says it is charged and plays music take it out of the computer nothing happens, ive held down the middle and menu button and the hold button is not on what do i do now?

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      Julia 6 years ago

      This didn't help me. I have an Ipod touch 4g...and I pressed the button to go to the menu and it flashed and then turned off and wont turn back on.

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      Dave 6 years ago

      Thanks Mate it now works a treat

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      John 6 years ago

      Thanks Dude, that really does work. I was a bit worried there for a while. What a relief.

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      RZilla 6 years ago

      That menu button + middlebutton thing just saved my life and my sanity.

      Forever in your debt lol

    • profile image

      RZilla 6 years ago

      That menu button + middlebutton thing just saved my life and my sanity.

      Forever in your debt lol

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      Kim Parisotto MacDonald 6 years ago

      OMG MAX ... I was just going to request a new nano from Santa. I am a digital immigrant and decided to try to trouble shoot this before I retired NANO. Nano was plugged in my car since June and died today. I took it out of the car thinking it needed somehow to be recharged. No response until I decided to google this problem and viola found tred from MAX !! You ROCK ! Just saved Santa a new nano :) Thank god for digital natives :)))) Yehawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

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      claude 6 years ago

      only on when plugged in. will not switch on at all when pluged out. what do I do? please help???

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      emma 6 years ago

      Thank you sooooo much (: x

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      baaaam 6 years ago

      OMG you saved my life ! seriously i just got my ipod touch 4g less than a week ago and just left it on my couch for 5 minutes, came back & it wouldn't turn on.

      thanks so much

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      leigh  6 years ago

      thank u all it fixed my ipad

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      kerry 6 years ago

      o my god it worked thanx max

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      Alicia 6 years ago

      Thanks Max, you're a savior.

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      Someone 6 years ago

      THANK YOUU SO MUCH! I feared my iPod was broken!

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      Thisz Guy- 6 years ago

      Holdin'the menu button and The On Button for 10 sec. Worked, Thanks Alott Man !!

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      olivia 6 years ago

      This didn't work what should i do i didn't do any thing to it i just turned it off b/c it kept tuning up and down in the volume by it's self then the power off screen kept popping up so i finally turned it off now i can't turn it on or reset it i haven't even had it for a year

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      Laurel 6 years ago

      Was worried about having to purchase a new ipod and reload the library - pushing the menu and center buttons worked - THANK YOU!!

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      Jude 6 years ago

      So today I updated my iPod touch to 4.2.It was at version 4.0 previously,and today I had some time left over so I updated it.It updated then it said that iTunes discovered that the iPod was in recovery or some mode.So it told me to restore.I did,then later when I tried to turn it on,it just went completely blank.It was on about 85% battery.What should I do? BTW,i already tried the button thing with the home and stuff.

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      Erning 6 years ago

      You're great Max, it works. Thanks.

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      Juliano 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot !!! the question is , why did the iPod entered this full sleeping mode that requires this trick ??? I was about to send it to Apple and spend some good $$$$$... is it a self protection after a shock or what ????

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      Leebertee 5 years ago

      My iPod Touch 4the gen was confiscated by my teacher 2 weeks ago and I will only get it next week. The last time I saw it is that it's 60% of the battery. Will it be dead when I get it back next week? What do I need to expect.Please help.

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      aadam 5 years ago

      i have put my ipod nano 3rd gen on charge all night and still its not charged as soon as i take the charger out it goes off and wont turn back n it works whislt on charge tho or if its plugged inside the comuter any suggestions ive tried that button thing whilst it was on charge what shall ido?

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      Tams 5 years ago

      Hi,

      my problem is my ipod touch 4g turns off by itself and wont't turn on again. I have to plug it in a power point to turn it on, when I disconnect it, it turns off, plugging it on itunes won't work too. Can you help me please?

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      adam 5 years ago

      thanks a lot

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      StupidMom 5 years ago

      The hold the menu/center saved me from looking stupid...again. My teen and 10yr old tease me about screwing up their ipods everytime I get new music. Problem is, they're right and I never want to do it. I surprised my 14yr old w/his list of songs and his thank you hug about broke my ribs. All I had to do was sync them...then it all went black. Thank you for this tip&saving me from telling my son I broke his ipod!

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      roge 5 years ago

      thanks for the info. it actually worked!! I'm about to go to the mac store to have it fixed. but no need for me now. thanks to u!

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      Joe Fredder 5 years ago

      max is the ipod guru!!

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      dyln 5 years ago

      thanks a lot Max, it worked!!!!

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      marveles 5 years ago

      max is the man.Keep doing ya thing

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      Tammyyyy 5 years ago

      OMG HOLDING THOSE BUTTONS REALLY DO WORK !!!!!!!! THANKS MAX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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      a thankful viewer 5 years ago

      the tips you talked about did not work so i read the comments. i thought it was hopeless until i read Jen's, thank you so much i thought my expensive ipod was ruined!

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      Kerin 5 years ago

      Yes! Yes! I was in panic mode.

      But I finally got it - The MENU AND MIDDLE button. Supper dooper!!

      Thank YOU All

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      D4hLyN 5 years ago

      Aight man so almost two years ago or more i washed my ipod nano, i haven't touched it since then. so today i try turning it on and nothing, i tried all the button things and nothing only sometimes the ipod beeps twice but that's it..help please!!

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      YnnarF 5 years ago

      I tried sliding the hold switch back and forth, holding the menu and center button for 6-10 seconds and nothing. My nano beeps at me, the backlight turns on, but the actual screen doesn't appear.

      Please please please, someone help...PLEASE! :)

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      GloomySprite 5 years ago

      I love you, thank so much

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      angelina 5 years ago

      holding the menu botton and the middle worked!!! i was already feaking out! thanks soo freaken much!!! :D

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      rachel 5 years ago

      i was about to buy a new ipod. thank you :)

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      Mike 5 years ago

      Wow 2 years and still praise but well deserved praise. You are awesome.

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      dtsomers 5 years ago

      OK somebody HELP!! I have an ipod 5.0 so i do not have a hold button. I am going to ask a stupid question he says to hold the menu and middle button someone tell me on a 5.0 version ipod what are those buttons????? I tried to reset and did nothing for it. It is fully charged works only when charged in apple wall outlet will not even turn on now when using ipod plug in to computer once i unplug it i cannot use it at all. I am so upset its not even a year old! I did not get it wet or any damage at all

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      YoS 5 years ago

      Max is great. At work, ticked that my less than a year old Ipod classic was shot from dropping it. Menu and middle button held down and whala! Thanks so much!!

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      jak 5 years ago

      bums

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      claudine abella 5 years ago

      it works!!! hold the menu and the center button. then the apple logo appears. THANKS A LOT! hehehe

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      lauren 5 years ago

      thanks max :) xxx

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      kzarts 5 years ago

      Thanks max it worked

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      simon 4 years ago

      thanks saved a lot of hassle

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      Jeff 4 years ago

      Thanks brother! You da man!

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      Ipod 4th gen 8gb 4 years ago

      Hi, when i charge the ipod everything works perfectly but after an hour of charging and i take it off, the ipod does not power up. when i put it back to the charger it again works perfectly. anyone knows a solution to these problem? thanks a lot

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      mdtobe 4 years ago

      THANK YOU SOOOOOO VERY MUCH!!!!! This information helped very much!!!

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      jazzie 4 years ago

      IT DIDN'T WORK MY IPOD WONT TURN ON HHHEEELLLPPP!!!!!!!

      PLZ

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      Cathy 4 years ago

      MAx you're a lifesaver! This happened to me twice and I had to restore my IPOD to factory setting!The menu and middle button worked! Max just saved me from the stress of having to build my library again!

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      kevin 4 years ago

      i start up itunes and when i plugg in my ipod i dont see my music anywere anymore how can i fix this ?? i cant change my old music or put on new music on it :S and i dont have appple acount so how can i do this with out this and just old way logg in and change the music ??

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      chubbs358 4 years ago

      menu and middle button woo hoo thanks

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      joanne johnson 4 years ago

      thank you it worked x

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      fidelis 4 years ago

      hey nan it works man u are a hero man thanks a lot my ipod work up now

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      yoyobonerman 4 years ago

      middle+menu worked for me too. awesome, thanks!

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      Casey 3 years ago

      I tried these steps and the ipod wont turn on even when i hold the middle and menu button down at the same time. the ipod is a 4th gen classic and hasn't been charged for like three years. all that happens is that the apple logo comes up then shuts right back down! help!

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      vvv 3 years ago

      Why are u thanking him lmao that's how you generally reset an ipod...now what if it doesn't work i you do that?

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      jeraldo 3 years ago

      Thanks bro. It works men! I so love you :)

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      Peter Yeates 2 years ago

      Holding the Menu and Centre button down immediately produced the apple icon, and then fan.....tas....tic it worked thank you so much.

      Peter UK

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      Johnk242 2 years ago

      Sweet website, super layout, very clean and utilise genial. edekkaedecdf

    • profile image

      Chaz42 2 years ago

      I have done what you are saying but all i get is a folder with an exclimation mark. What should I do?

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      Rod69 2 years ago

      Hi all I have a Ipod classic 4g I found it in the store room. from tennet that was here before me . looks in good shape but tried to charge it up the apple Icon comes up and some times menu also but as soon as I disconnect it it shuts down . but have seen that while the menu has a full battery

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      David 9 months ago

      And still it won't come on what do I do then.

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